We have been to the West Midlands Safari park twice now. We loved it both times and would not hesitate to go another time. It was about an hour 15 minutes drive from Oxford, but with a drive through safari, zoo, dinosaur land and theme park all wrapped into one, it is so well worth it. Give it a go and enjoy a BRILLIANT DAY OUT!
When we were invited to visit the park the first time, I had just read a mum rant about the waiting times in the Safari in the daily mail and it did make me feel nervous, but I worried needlessly. We had an absolutely amazing day. You cannot beat a Rhino or zebras strutting infront of your car or the Giraffe getting his mouth inside the window to be fed off your hands. There will be some queuing (as with anything else) but the experience is worth it. It took us about 2 hours to go through the first time and 3 hours the second time (during peak summer holidays). I must add here that in any other zoo, you pay for anything between 60-100£ just for a Giraffe encounter (on top of your ticket). Here, the feeding of Giraffes is included in your ticket price and you go through the giraffe enclosure twice, so it is unlikely you will miss it. If you can go on a weekday or during term time or during autumn/ winter, the queues will be much better, but it may not be possible for many. If that is the case, then my top tips are either get there for the park opening time, so you are at the front of the queue or you may want to do the zoo and theme park first and leave the safari for the last. Also, make sure you/ kids have been to the toilets and there are plenty of snacks in the car (as you can not stop or come out during the safari). Have your favourite songlist ready and go with the flow to enjoy your adventure. You can also do a minibus-guided Safari tour bus (7£ pp extra) which I hear bypasses the queues and your tour guide is able to leave the track to take you off the road, so you get even more closer to the animals (but I can not comment on it as we did not do it).
Another highlight of the drive through Safari was that Ay was allowed to move out of his car seat and sit in the front, much to his delight. I also saw little ones sitting in their parent’s laps in many cars, which makes it easier if the queues get long.
Drive through Safari is not just about the giraffes, though it certainly was the highlight for us. One of them literally sucked Ay’s whole hand into his mouth while getting the feed and Ay was not impressed with how slimey his saliva was. Zebra also stuck his mouth inside and I gave him some food. I was told off by a ranger van who hurriedly drove over. It was entirely my mistake as it is clearly written on the box of the animal feed, as they can bite. Luckily, that did not happen on this occasion. You can purchase the feed for 4£/bag at the reception or from the ticketing kiosks as you enter. We got two which was more than enough to last the whole journey. You are also given alcohol wipes at the gate to enable you to clean your hands before we could wash them properly.
You can also get up close with the rhinos, zebras, lots of different variety of deer, waterbucks and camels. The Safari drive-through is home to some of the world’s greatest hunters, from magnificent and powerful tigers, to cheetahs, to white tiger, to the African lion, to the African painted dogs and also the elephant. A herd of lions sat high up on a lion shaped rock, reminding me of the Lion king. It really is a magnificent experience like no other.
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You can go around the safari again (or as many times as you want) but we then parked our car and headed over to explore the rest of the park. The penguins cove comes first as you walk in. You can watch them move on the beach or swim in their enclosure through the glass windows. You can also experience bats moving around you in the Twilight Cave, visit some of the largest and most deadly reptiles from all around the globe ( iguanas, tree frogs, boas and anaconda) or watch the creepiest crawliest creatures including tarantulas, hissing cockroaches, amazing leaf cutting ants and a plague of locusts! You can also stroll up to African elephants, giraffes and white rhino to see them in their new home on the African walking trail, but we gave this part a miss, as we had already seen them all on the safari.
There are lots of different shows to watch like sea lions, penguins and talks about other animals throughout the day (talk times HERE)
Another one of our favourite moments was feeding the Lorikeets at Lorikeet landing. You get a pot of nectar (£1.50 per pot) and pop into the building. The noisy birds fly hurriedly over and sit on you so they can eat their favourite food. When I walked in, I had hidden the pot with my other hand (as instructed) but the Lorikeet ran over and literally kept tapping , even pinching me once, with its beak, only stopping once I had removed the hand. They can also fight over the food, so be prepared for 4-5 landing at the same time. One even pee-d on my head 😀 but I would still recommend the experience.
We wandered around the Land of the Living Dinosaurs and Ice Age. There are life size animatronic dinosaur figures (of all kinds) in a fantastically themed walk through area and some of them even move and roar! There is also a big dinosaur bone digging sand pit.
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The Safari Drive through and Walk Through Leisure Park are both included in the price but the tickets do not include allow theme park rides. For that, you will have to buy either a wrist band (or tokens for individual rides). At first, I found it annoying as you pass right through the middle of the theme park and children will be tempted to go on the rides, so why not include everything in the ticket (and increase the entrance fee). However, when I thought about it later, I actually saw the logic in this approach, because if your kids are small or not interested in the rides, or you don’t have as much time left, then you don’t have to bother with the extras and the overall cost of the day does not become exorbitant. Similar, if they just want to go on one or two rides, you can just buy the individual tokens, and not pay for the entire lot. It allows you flexibility in your day and budget, which is great!
Now it is no Alton Towers or Legoland but has enough rides to cater to a variety of ages and there is plenty to keep mixed age group children entertained. We did not get a wrist band but Ay went on a few individual rides (thankfully he chose the ones where he was allowed to go on his own). Just a word of warning, Long sleeved shirts must be worn for ‘Slippery Snake Slide’, which Ay was not wearing, so he was not allowed to go on it (much to his disappointment). May be take one with you if your children are into that kind of rides
There is also a colourful Boj Giggly Park for toddlers with multi-sensory interactive play area where kids can explore and play. Meetkats and hippos are close by.
Address: Spring Grove, Bewdley DY12 1LF, United Kingdom
ONLINE ADVANCE PRICES: Adult and Child Admission (3-15yrs) – From £22.00, Ride Wristband (3+yrs) – £10.00
ON-THE-DAY PRICES: Adult and Child Admission (3-15yrs) – £32.00, Ride Wristband (3+yrs) – £12.00, Little Penguin Ride Wristband (children between 0.8m-1.0m in height) – £7.00
See up-to-date prices on the website HERE. You are entitled to a FREE return visit within the next six months of your purchase (not valid during school holidays), so essentially you pay for two visits, which makes it one of the best value purchases!
Tesco Vouchers can be used to purchase ‘Admission Only’ tickets, online only. Guests with a Blue Light Card or members of Defence Discount Service can enter their codes via This Page.
Different activities continue throughout the season (please see website for more details)
Parking is included within the ticket price
Toilets and baby facilities on site
Refreshments available on site.
Picnic are allowed in designated areas
Most of the Leisure Park is accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and mobility scooters. The path leading to the African Walking Trail has a steep incline with a compressed gravel surface, so this route is not recommended for wheelchair or mobility scooter users. Guests with pushchairs may also find this section difficult to navigate.
Guide and hearing dogs can accompany their owners through the pedestrianised areas, however, as the animals are free-roaming in Lemur Woods, Lorikeet Landing and the Twilight Cave, the assistance dog will not be permitted in these areas. They are also not allowed in the Safari Drive-through for safety reasons and would constitute a breach of Zoo Licensing Regulations. On some occasions, it may possible to leave assistance dogs at Reception for the duration of the tour of the Safari. If not, kennels are available a short distance from Reception.
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